This week has been pretty fun. I guess y'all heard about Typhoon Pablo. On Monday we were doing a family home evening at the Perez family house and they had the news on the TV. It's in Tagolog, so I don't really understand it that well. All I heard was Typhoon and Philippines. I asked Elder Doverte what was going on and he said that there was a Typhoon coming. I was rather excited because I remember all the Hurricanes that we've been in and things, but then I realized that we have a lot of members that the storm would effect them and their houses; so we were a little worried. At first the storm was a signal 1. Then it moved up to signal 2 and then later 3. On Tuesday is started raining, but nothing really that bad. The Typhoon was supposed to be here on Wednesday. So we were thinking that this is just the front of the storm. So we were in Canetown (No. Bacayan), just like an outskirt town, kind of hard to describe. Our area is HUGE. So we were out there and it's far from our house. We walked back to the main road and got a tricicab, went home. It continued to rain and we were really worried for the next day because that's when the storm was supposed to be here. We woke up Wednesday... NO RAIN! Clear skies. Since we don't have access to really any news or anything we just were like, huh... okay. So that's the Typhoon Story.
I still have not received my Christmas packages. The only thing I got was a Dear Elder from Mom, which I don't know when that was written and a letter from Courtney from Nov. 4. (I actually got them today). Hopefully this week when we go to the mission home for Zone Conference I'll get them. That should be fun and I'm really excited. They have Air-Con there, so I'm actually really excited for that! We leave on Friday at 6pm and we come back Saturday at 12pm. Not sure the exact plans that are going to happen while we're there, but it should be fun.
I keep a weekly log in the back of my planner of things that I want to write home about so here are some stories of the week and things that I wanted to remember to tell you:
I was a little confused on the writing other missionaries rule. You can't write other missionaries in OUR mission. So I CAN write the other missionaries. So if you could re-tell their mothers or who ever you told, that I CAN write them. Thanks so much.
If I could please have another SD Card. A 16Gig card. Please :) My 8G is filling up a little faster than I thought it would and I can tell that I'm going to need a bigger card and some more room. So please send one if you will. You can even put it in an envelope if you want and just tape in the the center somehow and I'll get it.
On Tuesday we were trying to find some inactive members and here, it's hard to explain how addresses work, because there aren't really house numbers. You go to an area and ask people where these people live. So we go up to a brother and we ask, "Can we ask you a question?" His reply was, "WE ARE BAPTIST." IN ENGLISH! Which usually show they are rich and educated, in some cases. It's just funny because we asked in Illango and he responded in English. We said, "Sir, we just have a question, but since you mentioned religion, we'd like to share our message with you" So we shared the Restoration, Lesson 1, really briefly. That was just funny to us.
Dad, I think one time you mentioned Jack Fruit to me from Jamaica, they have it here to, but they make into like sauces and stuff, so I haven't really eaten it yet, it's just a GIANT FRUIT!
I had a 5 year old give me the "bird" this week. That was funny, right in front of his momma. Oh well...
While we were teaching a family in Bo Palma on Thursday a bird flew into their house. Their son caught the bird and then they kept it. I have no idea what they were going to do with the bird, but they were just holding it. I took the opportunity to hold this wild bird. I thought it was super funny. I'll send you some pictures home with that. I still don't know what they did to the bird. I've just never held a wild bird before because Mom said they have diseases.
Also one night I was riding on a Tricicab and this man asked where we were going. I told him. Then he said, you speak Illango? I replied, I understand more than I speak, but I'm working on it. He then said how long have you been here. I told him 2 1/2 weeks. He said, "WOW!" For that little of time you can speak very well. I then said, "Yes, I'm actually a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have you ever talked to the missionaries before?" He then told me he lives near the Stake President or something, that was sort of hard to make out. So I gave him the Restoration pamphlet with our phone number. It was a way good experience for me because I actually understood him, and he me. So I was really happy.
We have a couple that is committed for baptism! HOO-RAY! We're working on some things with them, Word of Wisdom and they need to get married. It's just hard here in the Philippines to do that, most people just live in, so they said they want to, but we've got to work with them first. 4 weeks with WoW problems and church 4 consecutive times and we're good to go. So we pray everyday that all can go well with them and that they can get married. It'll be a great blessing to their family.
I really am enjoying the experience here that I can pee anywhere. Doesn't matter day or night, just off the side of the side walk or road or sugar cane field, just go. It's culturally OKAY! :) So that's gonna be some adjusting when I come home haha. I'll probably end up getting arrested or something like that.
Also this week we were walking in Canetown to our Bishop's house and I was called out for by someone. I said, "yes?" and they said, "We'd like a picture with you." I just laughed! I was like, "Sure you bet!" Being the only American in Victorias is pretty fun, but it's weird haha. That and I'm the only American in my house I live in. So it's really fun at times.
On Saturday we went to a place called Pusod Gamay, which is an outskirt of Canetown. It's really hard to describe this, sorry. We were out there and we contacted a referral that we had received. We walk into the house, I introduce myself and we converse with the family for a little bit. I sit down and then I glance to my right. There is a casket! With pictures, Jesus Crosses, and flowers. I wasn't that shocked, but then I said to Elder Doverte, "there's a dead person in here!" He later explained to me that that's how they do it in the Philippines. So, yes, what do you think we taught? The Plan of Salvation of course!
Also on Saturday it poured rain. I was soaked from head to toe, neither Elder Doverte nor I have an umbrella, they're like 500 pesos, which isn't that much, but we just haven't had time to buy one I guess. And it hasn't rained that much. It's not the rainy season yet, but we were SO wet! So much fun.
Sunday was also an interesting day. So I don't know who knows who Manny Paquiao is, but he's a Filipino boxer. Anyway he had a big fight on Sunday against Marquez. The whole Philippines is going nuts over this fight. It's the 4th time they've fought. I just hear this from members and people. So the church is right across the stress from the plaza. And the Plaza, they have a large screen TV that they show movies on every night. However, they decided to show the fight on the big screen right during church, so there were people everywhere! All up the street, on the lawn of the Church, watching the fight. Paquiao lost by knockout and the whole country is sad. I guess he's really big. I've heard his name before, but never really watched boxing. So after church we went to work. We went back out to Bo Palma, to the same family I held the bird at. We go and their Dad and friends are totally wasted. They've been drinking a lot apparently. We taught them the restoration and their dad starts crying. He starts saying that he's not good and he's not setting a good example for his kids and things like that. It was really nice to hear that, but I don't know what is true or not and if he really has a desire to change. His wife is a member, but he's not. But he did bare his testimony to us about Joseph Smith; so we're going to go back there when he's sober and we'll see what happens. It was a good experience though.
Also last night on our way home from a dinner appointment, we were stopped by another drunk person that wanted us to teach him. He gave us anything we asked for including his phone number, which we RARELY get. However, he doesn't live in our area so he's going to have to be a referral to the other Elders.
This week has been good. Just want to let y'all know that the Church is True. I wouldn't be out here right now if I didn't know it was true. I have a testimony of that. I know that it's true and that the Book of Mormon is also true. Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God! Through him and through God and Jesus Christ we have ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ. I love you and miss y'all. Keep praying for me. I can feel your prayers when times get rough. Thanks for all the support. Hope you have a fantastic week.